After ducking out of the Freddie Freeman market and signing Anthony Rizzo, the New York Yankees appear to have doubled down on acquiring pitching help — though they already missed the boat on Chris Bassitt, who instead leapt to the Mets.
Nearly a week of free agency frenzy hasn’t quite tapped the A’s out the market, though, as there are still several talented Oakland ballplayers ready to swap sides.
Yes, there are at least 10 people still on that MLB roster, and the Yankees would like a crack at at least two of them. Confirmed.
Though New York pivoted to Rizzo, they’re still in the high-end pitching market, according to MLB insider Robert Murray.
Now, can Brian Cashman convince America’s chief rebuilders to include catcher Sean Murphy in any potential deal?
Yankees Rumors: NYY pursuing A’s Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea
Again, it goes without saying, but the trade package here will be extremely prospect-centric; don’t expect the A’s to be interested in players with rising arbitration costs like Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres. The younger the better.
Montas’ acquisition cost will be significantly higher than Manaea’s, a one-year rental whose $10 million salary doubles up the right-hander’s.
In 2021, Montas bounced back from a brutal shortened 2020 (5.60 ERA in 11 starts) to throw 187 innings and strike out 207, finishing sixth in the Cy Young chase with a 13-9 record and 3.37 ERA. You can expect to surrender a package led by three upper-echelon prospects if you’d like his services (Austin Wells, Oswald Peraza, Everson Pereira?).
Manaea, freshly 30 and otherwise known as the Baby Giraffe, is coming off a similar re-breakout season, striking out 194 in 179.1 durable innings. He’s a bit more reminiscent of what’s already in the rotation, though (Nestor Cortes Jr. and Jordan Montgomery), and New York might be less enthusiastic there, despite his smaller price tag.
And, as if things couldn’t get weirder, another AL Central team has joined the fray: the Kansas City Royals, where Manaea played once upon a time before the 2014 AL Wild Card race calcified.
Either A’s pitcher would be a huge boost to a rotation featuring a ton of depth, but not many guarantees.
Somehow, Jameson Taillon will be ready for Opening Day, but Domingo German won’t be. Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia could rise through the ranks again, or they could fall flat on their faces. New York needs innings, even if they think they go eight deep at the moment.
Snagging a coveted Athletic would be a nice way for the Yankees to rebound after settling for less than the best in other areas.